- Taschenbuch: 160 Seiten
- Verlag: Soft Skull Press (1. November 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1593762852
- ISBN-13: 978-1593762858
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,5 x 12,3 x 0,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 233.372 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Break of Noon: A Play (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. November 2010
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As for the plot, it's pretty simple: After surviving one of the worst office shootings in American history, John Smith struggles to find redemption from his previously sinful life as well as to convince the world that it was God who intervened and saved him. The detective assigned to the case doesn't believe John about God and nor does anyone else. At one point his wife says: "God doesn't mean anything to us anymore, he's the boogeyman, that's all..." It also doesn't help that John is simply not that adept at being good. In his attempt to pass on some information to the daughter (a dominatrix) of a murdered co-worker he winds up becoming a leather-clad client. John stumbles and trips throughout the rest of his journey, lying at some point to just about everyone he encounters before finally offering full disclosure. The ending is elegant, mysterious (there's that word again) and surprising without quite feeling like a "twist."
People who have struggled with the cruelty of Labute's other works won't be converted by this play. Indeed, it's nastier than most and I imagine that the very idea of empathizing with such a flawed individual will offend some. But that's the point and the play revels in these feelings of moral-ambivalence, conflict and confusion. To fans of his previous work, and people interested in tough, probing literature this is highly recommended.
Regarding the actual product: print quality was superior; overall physical quality of the material excellent. Delivery was prompt and without any flaws.
The beginning is great-- an excellent monologue that hooks and draws you right into the plight of this character. As it progresses, cliche after cliche and a series of one-dimensional characters coupled with the flat, boring, protaganist do little to entertain or whet an intellectual appetite.
I am deeply curious how Neal LaBute became such a well-known/respected writer. Yes, I know he's divisive, and yes he picks controversial topics, but I don't think he explores them at enough depth to cause any real debate. Maybe that IS the controversy.
'Fat Pig' at least left one thinking about how much it sucks that our society treats people so terribly if they happen to be dating an unattractive/overweigt person (even if they are truly in love). The hilarious but awful comic sidekick was a great contrast for that. Here, there just wasn't enough antagonism to make me care about the hero much, and there's inconsistency and ambiguity in terms of his connection with God and religion that I don't think was intentional.
The ending is was so strange I just don't know what to make of it. He starts to levitate. So what? Is that just how he feels? Did it actually happen? Is he about to be beamed up?? There wasn't any revelation or major reversal. Sure, there was a fuller explanation of the story of what happened in the office shooting, but there was no discovery. Nothing new was brought to light. Ok, he had a gun in his mouth. I wanted to hear something like he cried or begged the guy not to hurt him, or gave him a candy bar offhand one day which made the guy like him, or even participated somehow in the shooting because he also secretly hated all of his coworkers. Anything to make the audience reflect back on the show and look at what took place through a new lens. I didn't really believe based on what I saw/was written that a sympathetic, intelligent person found this connection with God.
Maybe the show could have worked and what started as just a thrill at surviving and feeling it was a miracle led to something bigger and grander, like having his own church/show (hinted at) or finding a new career or doing something insane like declaring war on another religion, but the idea of being the sole survivor of an office shooting by coincidence (and not even a very believable one) was not enough of a crux to carry the entire show, which basically half-heatedly analyzed the IMMEDIATE repercussions of this on a pretty boring man's life.
So what do I get out of this? Be nice to people. Or they might shoot up a place and kill everyone. Except one person who for no particular reason is protected by God. I mean geez, the protaganist could have at least embraced that role more and come out with a more interesting message, or read up on his bible and started to really show he was into the role.
Here's a different take: exactly the same premise, but instead of God saying `be good to people', God says to him `grow massive amounts of peanuts and feed everyone in your town out of the goodness of your heart' and then there's a famine or something that kills everything except nuts. Its just as arbitrary. Or maybe that becomes a cover-up for again, a more interesting truth like the fact that he aided this guy in the office murders and is just trying to ease his conscience. There are interesting topics here worthy of discussion. Religion. Born-agains. Rediscovery. Relationships with coworkers and loved ones. What if everyone you knew suddenly died? Survivors guilt. And none of them were explored to any real level of satisfaction or thought-provosion (word?). Come on Mr. LaBute, we deserve more.